Finally back on the loom...

I hate to admit it, but although my grandfather's loom came to me last January, and it has been in my studio put together for months, I have not yet woven anything on it.  I did a small piece on the Macomber (also from my grandfather) --that seemed familiar and safe-- but the Harrisville seemed like a large countermarche beast that needed taming before I could weave on it.  Turns out she is a gentle giant and so far I love her!

I could site endless excuses why my actual weaving in my own studio hasn't so much, well, happened in the last 8 months, but the truth is that life got in the way.  A shift in perspective is called for--weaving is necessary to my soul.  Making art and spending quiet time in my studio is of utmost importance.  Resistance is a creeping, insidious presence that will use any excuse to draw me away from the loom (oh, you're hungry?  Why not drive 10 miles to town to get a Sonic shake?  you have a hang nail on your pinky toe?  that might take several hours to remedy... etc.)

Back to the Harrisville Rug Loom:  For those of you who aren't familiar with this loom, it has a warp tensioning rod on the back that lowers as you weave so the back beam doesn't have to turn at all as long as your piece is less than about 8 feet long.  This feature I love.  It should make the warp tension fabulous... and so far it is!  My only complaint is the lack of locking treadles.  I know this loom was not designed for weaving tapestry, but locking treadles would sure make tapestry easier!  It is a high loom and I could probably rig it to stand and weave if it had locking treadles.

Anyway, I've started a couple quicker pieces for Weaving Southwest while thinking about a more complicated project for my shows next year.

Upcoming shows:
Speaking of which, I have two group shows scheduled in 2010.  The project is called Interwoven Traditions: New Mexico and Bauhaus.  I am working with James Koehler and Cornelia Theimer Gardella in a study of Bauhaus art theory and how we have used this theory in our work as tapestry artists both in Germany (Cornelia is a German citizen) and here in New Mexico.

The first show is in conjunction with Convergence 2010 which is in Albuquerque, NM in July. It will be at the Open Spaces Gallery in July and August 2010.
In September and October 2010 it will be at St. Michael's Church in Erfurt, Germany.  More details to come!
There is nothing so comforting as an old yellow lab sleeping in the sun next to your loom...

Bauhaus Project

2009 is the 90th anniversary of the Bauhaus—a German art school that existed between 1919 and 1933 in Weimar, Dessau, and Berlin, Germany. The Bauhaus’s students and teachers were such people as Anni Albers, Josef Albers, Johannes Itten, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Georg Munch, Walter Gropius, and Gunta Stolzl (among many others). Although the Bauhaus ran for less than two decades, the influence of the design theory and ideas about art had far reaching effects. Many ideas begun at the Bauhaus continued at schools in the United States such as Black Mountain College after the German school closed in 1933.

I am currently engaged in a Bauhaus project which is the brain-child of a good weaving friend of mine, Cornelia Theimer Gardella ( She is a native of Erfurt, Germany and she and her husband Kurt split their time between Germany and northern New Mexico. Conni wanted to do a project connecting the ideas begun at the Bauhaus in the early 20th century and its influence on contemporary tapestry artistry. She approached myself and James Koehler ( to collaborate on a project that would explore the ideas from the Bauhaus and connect them to our current work in the southwestern United States. James, Conni, and myself are all contemporary tapestry weavers. Conni and I have been mentored by James Koehler for the past several years and I definitely feel grateful to be included in this project which will continue our mentoring relationship and further my knowledge not only of contemporary tapestry, but of some of the art forms’ roots in Bauhaus ideas.

We are planning a show of our work in Germany during the 90th Bauhaus celebration. All three of us will display works hopefully in a gallery in Erfurt--Conni’s home town. Our plans also include a workshop accompanied by lectures designed to connect the Bauhaus ideas with our current work in New Mexico (and Conni’s continuing work in both Germany and New Mexico). We are currently looking for a venue for the show in New Mexico when we return from Germany, probably in the fall of 2009. If we’re lucky we’ll be able to also make a connection at Convergence in 2010 (we’re hoping for Albuquerque!) and perhaps show the work and repeat the workshops a third time. Our next challenge is to secure venues and find some grants to support our travel and teaching.